Come a Little Closer
A year in the making, this record is the result of the labor and love of so many wonderful people. Many are longstanding friends like my co-producer and engineer extraordinaire, Grant Birchard, and one of my earliest musical mentors, Gordon Twist. Many others became friends along the way. I cannot say enough about the stellar musicians who not only brought their artistry to the project, but whose spirit and support made every recording session a joy! They are: Steve Rudolph, piano Steve Varner, bass Erik Johnson, drums Paul Bollenback, guitar Roger Prieto, trumpet and flugelhorn Doc Gibbs, percussion The tunes are a rather eclectic mix of material that I've grown to love over the years. I first heard the beautiful Ellington ballad, I Didn't Know About You, sung by Judy Collins accompanied by the late, great Hank Jones and knew immediately that I wanted to record it one day. Like many of us baby boomers, I grew up in a household where my parents' record collection was primarily swing music from the Big Band era, and so we swing! Check out Paul Bollenback's guitar work and the groove that the rhythm section lays down on Gypsy in My Soul. Steve Rudolph's electrifying samba arrangement of Dans Ses Yeux, a little known gem by Michel Legrand, allowed me to indulge two of my loves: the French language and latin rhythm. Wherever I go, people request that I sing O Pato (The Duck), a Brazilian song with English lyrics by Jon Hendricks. Hendricks' lyric perfectly captures the misadventures of a duck trying to teach his feathered friends how to do the samba. This tune was also a must-have on the song list. About five years ago, I stumbled upon vocalese (look it up on Wikipedia) when I heard one of the contemporary practitioners of the genre, Giacomo Gates, sing King Pleasure's words to an Illinois Jacquet saxophone solo over All of Me. It knocked me out, and I began listening to everything I could find by the pioneers like Eddie Jefferson and Lambert, Hendricks and Ross. A highlight of the project for me was singing Four, Jon Hendricks' tour de force of the classic Miles Davis recording, with Wendy Simon and Paul Jost. It was an honor and a blast to have the opportunity to work with these singers I love and admire. And then there are tunes by Henry Mancini, Rodgers and Hart, Cole Porter, Peggy Lee, Wallace and Landesman - so much beautiful material to work with! I can't hope to do justice to the music and to all the people who have guided, influenced, provided cheerleading and labored to bring 'my baby' into the world. And especially to these wonderful musicians -- Steve, Steve, Erik, Paul, Roger and Doc -- I am deeply grateful to you all! Thank you for listening. Peace. Carolyn.